Monthly Archives: November 2015

Prosecutor Gahn named legal innovator for pioneering use of DNA

N GahnThe State Bar of Wisconsin decided to give out a new award this year, Lifetime Legal Innovator. The first winner seemed an obvious choice.
Norman Gahn pioneered the use of DNA evidence in criminal prosecutions in Wisconsin, a staple of the process now, but a novel, exotic and risky ploy when he began explaining it to Milwaukee County jurors in the late 1980s.

Convict in 3 sex crimes freed by DNA tied to fugitive rapist

DNA and justiceLOS ANGELES (AP) — A man imprisoned 16 years for rape and sex assault convictions was exonerated Monday and ordered freed after DNA evidence linked the crimes to a serial rapist on the FBI’s most wanted list.

MPs to vote on joining European police DNA database

swabbing cansTheresa May hopes Paris attacks will make case for joining Prüm scheme that would give fast-track access to Europe’s DNA and fingerprint records.

DNA study finds London was ethnically diverse from start

Gladiator SkullThe analysis reveals what some of the very first Londoners looked like and where they came from.
These initial results come from four people: two had origins from outside Europe, another was from continental Europe and one was a native Briton.

Defense Attorneys Demand Closer Look at Software Used to Detect Crime-Scene DNA

Justice ScalesLaw-enforcement authorities are turning to a computer program to overcome a common hurdle in crime labs—making sense of mixed-up DNA from​ crime scenes. But secrecy​ surrounding the software​ has​ fed into a national debate about how to balance commercial concerns and defendant rights.

Call for ISHI 27 Workshop Proposals

ISHI 27 The ISHI Program Committee invites anyone who is interested in presenting a workshop at the 27th International Symposium on Human Identification to submit a proposal. All workshop proposals will be reviewed by committee and selected based on perceived interest to the forensic community. Proposals are due no later than January 15, 2016.

Gov. proposes $8.5M for state’s crime labs

FDLE Sexual Assault KitsJacksonville, FL – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s effort to test thousands of rape kits could soon get a boost after Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday that he has proposed $8.5 million to fund enhancements for Florida’s crime labs.

DNA Reveals Mysterious Human Cousin With Huge Teeth

MolarThe analysis of a fossil tooth from Siberia reveals that a mysterious people known as Denisovans, discovered a mere five years ago, persisted for tens of thousands of years alongside modern humans and Neanderthals.

DNA evidence said to prove Kentucky man was wrongly convicted of murder

Justice and DNALOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – Nearly three decades after he was jailed for the brutal murder of a Veterans Administration nurse in Newport, recently tested DNA evidence proves William “Ricky” Virgil was wrongly convicted, according to the Kentucky Innocence Project.

A macabre task to identify the shipwrecked

The shy children from a dog-eared photograph found in the pocket of a migrant drowned off Italy may never know what happened to the man who might have been their father. Putting names to those who die while crossing the Mediterranean to Europe is a huge challenge for forensic scientists, with clues sometimes limited to no more than a scar or a solitary tatoo.

This Ear Was Made With Vincent Van Gogh’s DNA

Van Gogh earSmithsonian- Vincent van Gogh’s ear is nearly as famous as his jaw-dropping Starry Night. Though its final resting place may never be found—as the legend goes, he severed off part of his ear and then gave it to a prostitute—museumgoers in New York can get a look at the next best thing. ArtNet’s Sarah Cascone reports that a living replica of van Gogh’s ear, created using the artist’s DNA, is now on display at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts in New York City.

Incan Child Sacrified to the Gods Reveals History of American Expansion

Inca mummyThe mummy of an Incan child who was sacrificed to the gods more than 500 years ago belonged to a previously unknown offshoot of an ancient Native American lineage, new research finds.

Tsar Nicholas II: DNA Analysis Proves That Bones Discovered In Russian Mine Are Genuine

Czar NicholasIITsar Nicholas II can finally be laid to rest with his murdered family, as new DNA tests have revealed that the bones found in a Russian mine a quarter of a century ago were genuine, proving beyond any doubt that the discovered skeletal remains belonged to Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, according to The Daily Mail.

Backlog of 3,482 untested rape kits in Minnesota is revealed

analystThere are 3,482 untested rape kits in Minnesota, the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) announced.
The agency released its most comprehensive look at the rape kit backlog Thursday after Minnesota lawmakers directed law enforcement officials to count the number of untested kits and provide a complete inventory by Dec. 1, 2015, including why the kits haven’t been processed.

New Irish DNA database to go live from next Friday

Laboratory SamplesJustice Minister Frances Fitzgerald says it is “an historic step”